Christmas in the Park

Children of all ages are invited to enjoy the city of Summerville's annual Christmas In The Park at Dowdy Park Friday, Dec. 9, from 6-9 p.m. Santa will arrive at the Summerville Depot at 6:30 p.m. to visit and offer free photos with children. The official lighting of the tree ceremony is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Free hot chocolate, cotton candy and popcorn will be available in the middle gazebo to tempt the taste buds. Traditional holiday hay rides will once again be offered, boarding from the park. Musical entertainment will be a highlight of the evening, including live performances by the Horizon Hand Bell Choir, Chattooga Chorus, The Southern Style Sweetheart Cloggers, Jason Taylor and more.

Drawings will be held for a girl's and a boy's bike, as well as a Christmas ham. Tickets will be available at the big gazebo at no charge. Only one ticket per item will be allowed per person. The announcement of winners will be at the small gazebo at 8:45 p.m. Ticket holders must be present to win.

Free tours of the Couey House will be given by the Chattooga County Historical Society. The house is furnished to display what would have been appropriate of Chattooga County families in the early 1840-50s and the Chattooga County Garden Club will adorn the house with all natural Christmas decor.

Once again children will have the chance to be named "The Best Dressed Elf' and holiday bakers will battle to earn the right for their cookie to be proclaimed as the "Best Christmas Cookie of 2016." Best Dressed Elf contest is open to all elementary aged children and sponsored by Summerville Main Steet.

Registration for "Elves" entering the contest will be at the small gazebo in Dowdy Park between 6-6:30 p.m. Judging is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. The contest winner will receive a trophy, be named "Head Elf" and will do the honors of lighting the official park tree.

Summerville Main Street is looking for the best cookie bakers in the area to compete in the 2016 Christmas Cookie Smack Down. Denise Brown, winner of the 2015 Christmas Cookie Smack Down, has issued a challenge. "If you think that you have what it takes to win, bring it on!" 2013 winner, Elsie Elrod also said she is working on a comeback.

For the bakers up to accepting the challenge, bring one dozen of your favorite homemade Christmas Cookies, along with your cookie recipe to the small gazebo in Dowdy Park during Christmas in the Park. Chattooga County extension will accept entries from 6-7 p.m. Recipes are subject to be publicized by our local media.

Cookie entry should be accompanied by a registration form, which may be filled out on site. Six of your cookies will be sampled for judging, with the remaining six cookies being packaged and donated as a Christmas Gift to The Hope Rebirth Homeless Shelter. Event winners will be announced at 8 p.m. Trophies will be awarded to first, second and third place winners and the winning entry will be proclaimed by Mayor Harvey as "Best Christmas Cookie 2016."

For more information contact Summerville City Hall at 706-859-0900.